I often have moms ask me, "how can I breastfeed on the go"? This is a question that people often have issues with because they are so accustomed to seeing moms bottle feed in public or they often hear stories of moms hiding in the bathroom or fitting room to nurse. In reality since your baby will get hungry very often in the beginning and literally when ever they want.. This usually means at times where you may not be able to go anywhere else but where you are to nurse. The other important factor is when baby is ready to nurse they should nurse right away. This prevents from having a screaming angry baby. If you feel comfortable covering up there are many ways to do this. One way is wearing a nursing tank underneath your shirt so that when you un-clip the bra you can pull your shirt up and this will allow you to cover the top part of your breast while your baby covers the rest. If you want some more coverage there are many different types of nursing covers that strap around your neck and covers you and the baby completely. This is usually the option for moms but keep in mind that especially in the hot Florida weather your baby may get fussy and start to push their cover off. Another option is to hold your baby in a sling. This is one of my favorite options because in my opinion it's the easiest. I used a wrap with my first baby and it was ok but I felt very restricted from nursing easily. I had to unravel a part to get my son in a good position to nurse and then I would have to wrap it all over again because it would never go back to it's place. When my second son was born, a friend of mine who at the time made her own type of slings gave me one as a gift. It was a soft green, linen ring sling. The moment I put my 2 week old baby in it I automatically felt so comfortable. Now I will say, some women do not like the ring slings and they prefer Moby Wraps, or Boba carriers or even the Katan. I say research all the carriers, maybe try some out and choose the one that works for you. I just really loved my ring sling. I could nurse my baby every where and I could tend to my toddler at the time. It was really nice to have that flexibility and practically be hands free. The great thing about my ring sling was I could nurse from either breast and not have to adjust the sling much. I could cover myself if I wanted with the extra piece of fabric hanging and as my son got older I could wear him on my back. The great thing about a ring sling is that it grows with your baby and you can adjust it for each stage. My favorite aspect of the sling is not having to carry a car seat or a stroller, it was baby on me my bag and other son in the other hand and we where out the door! Once again look at different carriers, try some out and see which one will work for you and your baby. Below you'll see me and my baby starting out with my sling at 2 weeks, then 1 year and one of the last time I was able to sling him at 3 years old.
Breastfeeding in public is always a topic on my mind. It's not that I think of this on a daily basis but, so many women I come in contact with or that come in contact with me always seem to have a story or question about this topic. I also struggled with this with my first child. Not knowing any better and listening to people give me negative comments. I've heard everything from I had to hide, to "I was kicked off of a plain" and even stories of people telling a mom she was disgusting. I get questions like, well how much milk should I take out with me to feed the baby because I can't nurse when i'm out? I can't nurse in public, my husband does not want me to. I feel embarrassed.. Is this the type of society we want to raise our daughters in? To continue being afraid of naturally feeding their baby? To be ashamed of nurturing their child.. To be ridiculed for their constitutional right to breastfeed! I think not.. These moms should not have to go through such stress on a daily basis. They should be aware of their rights. Each state has different laws when it comes to breastfeeding. Regardless of state law, it is a constitutional right to breastfeed your baby where ever you are. Keep in mind that this constitutional right may not apply to a mother who is breastfeeding in a private location, such as a store or restaurant. And although there are some other legal issues upon which the right to breastfeed can be based (discrimination laws, equal protection, etc.), breastfeeding legislation is the best way to clarify the right that women have - to feed their babies where they choose to. Women have a constitutional right to breastfeed, and no one has the right to discriminate or segregate against breastfeeding mothers. Although, some states initially considered limiting a mother's right to breastfeed, while considering legislation that would clarify a mother's right to breastfeed in public. The best way to help support this matter is to stay informed of legislation in your state, you can support by contacting a local legislator, and find out if they might be interested in sponsoring a breastfeeding bill. Help to get information out to the community about the bill. Encourage positive, informative letters to legislators, rather than angry, upset letters. Nurse-ins, demonstrations, or other activities that might appear fanatical hinder rather than help with this. However, rallies where reputable speakers and breastfeeding information is distributed can help to educate everyone about the importance of breastfeeding. The most important way to support breastfeeding in public is when you do see a mom nursing smile and let her know. This simple gesture tells her, "hey mom your doing a great job"..
After your baby is born, the best place for them to transition is skin to skin with you. Putting your baby directly onto your chest after birth helps regulate babies temperature with yours, breathing with yours and studies show skin to skin can help regulate blood sugar levels. The best way to plan for the "Golden Hour" is to let your health care provider know ahead of time that this is what you want. Having a birth plan that tells your birth team how you want your labor and birth to go is one of the best ways to plan ahead. This way if things change they are still aware of what your wishes are. Especially in the hospital, it's best to let the nurses and hospital staff know that you want "The Golden Hour" with your baby. This will ensure they do not take the baby away but instead will leave them skin to skin on you. This is of course if you and baby are stable. The importance of the Golden Hour is so that it allows the baby to transition and get to know you from the outside. Within the hour you will notice the baby start to push up or turn their head toward the breast. They may even start to crawl toward the breast and little by little they may even latch on their own. Every baby is different but all babies are born with the instinct to nurse and try to get to the breast. The Areola of your nipple has little bumps that are called Montgomery glands. These glands release a fluid that maintain your nipples clean and soft. This fluid smells like amniotic fluid and is familiar to the baby which in turn will make them want to go towards it. To see this happen you can click on the link to watch "The Breast Crawl"..